Sunday 3 September 2017

B/X Essentials: Core Rules Now Available in PDF!

Illustration (C) Tom Kilian

The first book in the B/X Essentials line, Core Rules, is out!

The B/X Essentials line is a restatement of the classic Basic/Expert fantasy adventure gaming rule set, distilled down to its purest essence and given a fresh, new presentation:

  • Basic and Expert rules seamlessly combined.
  • Streamlined presentation optimised for ease of reference during play.
  • Meticulously researched; a guaranteed 100% accurate rendition of the classic rules of yesteryear.
  • Carefully clarified, ironing out ambiguities in the original rules.

This first book lays out the core rules of the game, including: encounters, combat, dungeon and wilderness exploration, seafaring, spell casting, and magical research.

It's lavishly illustrated with the powers of Michael Clarke, Tom Kilian, Thomas Novosel, Matthew Ray, Luka Rejec, and Andrew Walter. (The image above is a sample illustration from the book, by Tom Kilian.)

Right now, only the PDF edition is available, but fear not: print editions are coming soon! People who purchase the PDF edition now will be sent a voucher to upgrade to the print edition, when it becomes available.

Click here to buy B/X Essentials: Core Rules at RPGNow.

Additionally, a plain text edition of the book is available online as a google doc and here as PDF / RTF files. The plain text edition is provided as an aid to others who wish to create their own house rules documents or retro-clones (please read the Open Game License, at the end of the document, carefully!).


  1. Picked up the PDF as I am setting up a campaign based around The Keep on the Borderlands, as soon as the book is ready I will pickup several copies to make the game go faster.

    1. Excellent! Glad it looks useful. I'm also very much looking forward to getting this onto my gaming table.

  2. I've bought the PDF and am already printing a copy myself to read through. Looks great, and I really look forward to seeing the rest and the print editions. This was a great idea, and well executed.

    1. Thank you! Glad to hear it's going to be useful!

  3. Just picked this up and I will certainly buy a few printed copies, one for behind the screen and one for the table.

    Quick question: I've been following this project and I haven't seen a spell list or reference. Are you planning on doing anything like this?

    1. Great! A book of spells, laid out and illustrated in the same style, is something I have in mind, down the line (after the second book, Classes and Equipment). I'd love to do a complete line of books, covering the entire B/X rule set -- monsters, treasures, spells, and even some additional stuff. It depends how the first two books sell, though.

  4. Picked it up today - I am a big fan already. What you are doing with layout and clarity of writing is very close to what I am trying to accomplish with my b/x-y hack of 5e.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.